The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt has opened the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology (MMCET) Tourism and Hospitality Review workshop at their Brookfields campus in Freetown.
Giving the overview of the review, the Vice Principal and Director of Studies, Dr. Mohamed A. Jalloh said the review process is not happening by chance but a deliberate move to bring quality back to the educational system at MMCET. He stated that it started when the Principal, Dr. Phillip J. Kanu took over the leadership of the institution and asked for the services of a consultant to do a needs assessment of the college, which led to the initiation of a four year development plan. The transformative plan anchored on transforming the teaching and learning environment of the institution, quality assurance and also transforming the institution into a university status, which he said have all been achieved.
Officially launching the workshop, Minister Pratt pointed out that President Bio has prioritized Human Capital Development as a key flagship programme and that the nation’s most substantial asset is its human resources which are largely made up of young people who must be properly developed to be an asset for economic growth and development. And it is on that premise that the administration of MMCET has embarked on the review of the Tourism and Hospitality curriculum that would be used to provide the required training that would increase the human resource capacity of the Tourism and Hospitality industry in the country, she added.
She mentioned that recent training needs assessment survey conducted by the Ministry and the National Tourist Board statistics clearly shows that 62% of the courses offered are mostly certificate, 28 % diploma and only 10% are tourism related degrees offered by institution, which in effect caters for lower level manpower in the tourism industry.
Minister Pratt believed that the success and competitiveness of the industry depends on the competence and quality of its human resource capacity, therefore, the workforce requires suitable expertise in order to provide the appropriate services for the industry, hence her Ministry has prioritized the link between training programmes and business development goals that aligns with the aim of providing employees with information, skills development and comprehensive understanding of the overall growth of the sector, while maintaining that the relevance of the sector requires a curriculum fit for international best practice.